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Who We Are

Mennonite Disaster Service is a volunteer network of Anabaptist churches that responds in Christian love to those affected by disasters in Canada and the United States.  

While the main focus is on clean up, repair and rebuilding homes, this service touches lives and nurtures hope, faith and wholeness.

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2015 ALL-UNIT MEETING

MDS All-Unit Meeting 2015

Feb. 13-14, 2015, Hartville, OH

Click here to download registration materials.

Click here to register online.

Check on what is happening in your Region -

Region I page

Region II page

Region III page

Region IV page

Region V page

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Quilted Wall Hangings

Since November 2004, MDS house dedications include the gift of a quilted wall hanging to the new homeowners. The wall hangings are made and donated through the Mennonite Church USA Mennonite Women's group. If you are a quilter and would like more information on this program, e-mail MDS at communications(at)mds.mennonite.net.

 


 

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Volunteers from Drayton, ON, traveled to West Seneca, NY, and cleared snow from the roof of a dairy barn after the historic snowfall in NY. -photo P. Hunt

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Volunteers take a break after shoveling snow. Over 300 volunteers responded to help homeowners shovel out after the historic snowfall in New York.

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Volunteers register to help shovel snow in West Seneca, NY, after the historic snowfall.

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Volunteers from NY, MD and Ontario register and get job assignments in West Seneca, NY. -photo by Paul Hunt

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Mr. Frank and Mrs. Mary's home dedication service in Pensacola, FL.

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Caulking and taping the edges with Myron and Matt in Jamestown, CO.

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Everyone watches the wall go up in Jamestown, CO.

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Volunteers Aaron and Gene work on the floor of a new build in Crisfield, MD.

Was it a quiet year for disasters? Ask a volunteer.

The US and Canada didn’t see a huge Sandy-sized hurricane in 2014, or another mega-disaster that dominated the news media. However, MDS staff and volunteers would beg to differ when people make reference to a “slow year”.

MDS volunteers worked throughout the year to continue the repair and rebuilding of homes destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, by fires in Texas and Colorado, by floods in Alberta, Colorado, Minnesota and Florida, and by tornados in Mississippi.

Volunteers also responded to many new disasters that didn’t make the front page of the paper or the evening news. In late April two days of tornados tore through the south-central US. Hundreds of homes were damaged and destroyed in Mississippi and Arkansas. MDS sent Early Response Teams (ERT) with heavy equipment to clear trees and debris and followed with a rebuilding project.

Countless towns endured tornados, straight-line winds, severe snow storms, flooding and fires. MDS volunteers responded to their neighbors in need, clearing debris and rebuilding homes.

In August heavy rains in Detroit caused basement flooding in thousands of homes. MDS volunteers continue to work to muck out and sanitize basements that are becoming moldy and are causing health problems for residents.

In November hundreds of MDS volunteers traveled to New York to shovel out their neighbors who were hit by a historic snowfall.

 

MDS is thankful for the many hours our volunteers gave and thankful to our donors whose financial gifts make our work possible. As you celebrate Christmas please continue to remember those affected by disasters, who are not in their homes for Christmas. 

 

MDS featured in new book

Brenda Phillips, PhD, Associate Dean at Ohio University in Chillicothe, has published a new book titled “Mennonite Disaster Service and the Gulf Coast Recovery“ A long-time friend of MDS, she is a widely published author on disaster recovery and socially vulnerable populations and has received numerous awards and recognition. Phillips is donating all of the royalties of book sales to MDS. To order a book at a download an order form here or call the Binational Office, (717) 735-3536. The book will be “library quality,” so consider donating a copy to your church library.

 

 

The book has been described as an “academic study and a story—a truly engaging one—of people helping people in a very special way. This is a close up view of those who experienced the destruction of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike and those from the Mennonite Disaster Service who came to help. Together they built a classic therapeutic community. This important book is a valuable resource not only for students and academics who will find rich empirical support for many theoretical concepts, but for anyone who wants to understand and appreciate giving and receiving in disaster recovery.”— Maureen Fordham, Northumbria University 

 

 

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MDS featured on NBC Nightly News! MDS was featured on the NBC Nightly News on March 29, 2011. To see the story that features our Diamond, La. project, click on the link below:                                                                      

 

MDS on the News

 

 

 

 

Volunteer

MDS volunteers are known for repairing and rebuilding homes damaged by disasters. But it takes more than construction skills to serve with MDS. During the time that you serve as a volunteer, you will learn that MDS also restores lives.

Donate

Your contribution will help to connect volunteers with disaster survivors who need assistance on their path to recovery. MDS depends on the support of people who believe that disaster response is an important part of helping those who are in need.

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MDS Locations

Mennonite Disaster Service project locations are the physical response centers established by MDS in a disaster-affected community. In addition to housing the local MDS office, the projects function as base camps for MDS volunteers who need a place to eat and sleep while they serve. This section of the MDS website contains updated information about current MDS projects.

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More Project Information

  • Current Projects
  • MDS Offices
  • Completed projects